In the sad way that certain artists come to be known more for succulent ancillary gossip rather than their actual contributions, Alan Moore, like an actor who happens to enjoy rodent-based anal pleasantries, has seen the most news interest over the past decade or so not for his increasingly outré oeuvre but because of the dismal adaptations of his earlier work and his willingness to stand in public contempt for them.
In the pre-release of Watchmen, he told the L.A. Times that modern film “spoon-feeds us, which has the effect of watering down our collective cultural imagination. It is as if we are freshly hatched birds looking up with our mouths open waiting for Hollywood to feed us more regurgitated worms.” But it is not in hypocrisy that Moore has today announced that for the first time he will be scripting his own film. Show Pieces, as it is called, will be made independently in collaboration with photographer Mitch Jenkins, who provided the art for Moore’s illustrated Unearthing.
However, what troubles me is this: Moore once said of Watchmen, “There are things that we did […] that could only work in a comic, and were indeed designed to show off things that other media can’t.” It’s a quote that’s stayed with me since I read it, as a reflection of the value of writing for your medium. Show Pieces is a “a multi-layered, multi-episode narrative,” whose first “episode,” Act of Faith, is already completed. Jimmy’s End, its second is now due to begin production.
Episodes. Issues. From what it appears to be, Show Pieces is a series of short films rather than one feature. One wonders what Moore’s motivations are for releasing it as an anthology, and whether or not he is too inundated with writing episodically for comics to actually utilize the full narrative strengths of film. This seems, at the very least, that it would be more at home on HBO or, closer to home for Moore, on Channel 4, as to me it calls to mind last year’s Black Mirror.
The first two “occult and noir-flecked” parts will premiere in October at a Creators Project festival and then be available on its website.[via Twitch]